Re: The Tipping Point

From: Robin Faichney (
Date: Wed Apr 18 2001 - 11:05:32 BST

  • Next message: Robin Faichney: "Re: Levels of explanation (was Re: Determinism)"

    Received: by id LAA10169 (8.6.9/5.3[ref] for from; Wed, 18 Apr 2001 11:20:01 +0100
    Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2001 11:05:32 +0100
    Subject: Re: The Tipping Point
    Message-ID: <>
    References: <[]>; <> <3ADC5862.25994.30C1CB@localhost>
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
    Content-Disposition: inline
    User-Agent: Mutt/1.3.15i
    In-Reply-To: <3ADC5862.25994.30C1CB@localhost>; from on Tue, Apr 17, 2001 at 02:51:14PM -0500
    From: Robin Faichney <>
    Precedence: bulk

    On Tue, Apr 17, 2001 at 02:51:14PM -0500, wrote:
    > On 17 Apr 2001, at 15:13, Robin Faichney wrote:
    > > > That TV/camera dynamic can also be made to feedback, (and change the
    > > > picture sent to it), by pointing the camera at the monitor.
    > > > Controlling the 'tipping points' of luminosity and color can result
    > > > in some rather beautifully kinetic images.
    > >
    > > True. I've done that myself. But does that makes it a better analogy
    > > in this case?
    > >
    > Of course it does, though still not perfect, as the camera and the
    > TV cannot decide where on the screen to focus; this requires the
    > freely willed choice of one of us human causal nexi.

    In other words, it misses the central issue.

    > Surely the support given by the rest of the grains in an interrelated
    > pile of them is significant; along with the gravitational coefficient
    > that both knits them together as a gestalt and establishes the
    > slope of the tipping point, indeed, the MOST significant.

    Tell us just what it is, in the behaviour of any one grain, that cannot
    be fully explained by its own properties and the interactions with its
    immediate neighbours and gravity.

    > > > interesting- leading me to wonder if 'effect' is not the illusion.
    > >
    > > Only if you take "ultimate" to be implied, and if so, then "cause" is
    > > equally illusory. These are mere links in a chain, or, slightly more
    > > accurately, nodes in a net of influence, which in one sense is simply
    > > the settling of the universe into the state of maximum entropy.
    > >
    > Can't have that; that'd be unsuperdeterministic. Everything is
    > always ordered in a superdeterministic universe; the shackles of
    > causality imprison forever <snicker>.

    The prison's in your mind, Joe, not mine.

    > > > >So how can you also claim that events on one level influence those
    > > > >on another, when the former *is* the latter?
    > > >
    > > > At any reasonable level of explanation, calling the universe the
    > > > ultimate cause is unwise, if not untrue.
    > >
    > > That's absolutely true. This only works at the very highest level,
    > > and of course, as I keep saying over and over again, the concept of
    > > causation only really works -- or, at least, works best -- if both
    > > cause and effect are at the same level. The universe (at one moment)
    > > causes only the universe (at the next moment).
    > >
    > And everything in it, such as the P-E pairs?

    I quote:
    > > as I keep saying over and over again, the concept of
    > > causation only really works -- or, at least, works best -- if both
    > > cause and effect are at the same level.

    > > Actually, there is a very close parallel between the claims that (a) a
    > > conscious decision causes neural activity, and (b) the universe causes
    > > any particular event within it -- despite Joe's disparagment of the
    > > latter notion. Both are top-down causation, and both, in my view, are
    > > entirely *in*valid.
    > >
    > Then you repudiate the Buddhist doctrine of co-dependent
    > origination, which asserts precisely what you just denied. If one
    > tosses a whole ball, all of the ball's parts tend to tag along, even if
    > you weren't touching them during your toss.

    That's because they're tied together, Joe. No magic required! :-)

    > (P-E pairs are an
    > exception because they're not connected to anything else but each
    > other).


    > If you choose to look at something, your visual cortex is
    > selectively accessed, and neural pathways are used as a matter of
    > course, but the decision to do so both logically and empirically
    > precedes the selective pathway stimulation.

    Diagonal causation.

    > It's been mereologically known for lo
    > these many years, and now we have beau coup PET-scans to
    > corroborate same for the course and efficacy of human
    > consciousness; PET-scans which Robin continues to dismiss,
    > dispute, misinterpret, misconstrue, and/or ignore.

    Results which are perfectly explained by the concept of diagonal causation
    which Joe continues to dismiss, dispute, misinterpret, misconstrue,
    and/or ignore.

    > > > But there is also some real reason for
    > > > this scientific ape to deal with the universe from a single
    > > > perspective.
    > >
    > > Why should any particular perspective be given precedence?
    > >
    > If, and only if, its adoption is more useful to
    > understanding/explaining that which is being studied than its
    > absence, or the adoption of an alternative view.

    So you agree with me that selection of the best perspective depends upon
    the context.

    Robin Faichney
    Inside Information shatters the walls of mental prisons -

    =============================================================== This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing) see:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Wed Apr 18 2001 - 11:26:51 BST